Aug 1, 2012 2:52 PM by Melissa Anderson (Helena)
Helena Municipal Court implemented an auto-pay system several months ago, and so far it's paying off.
The system sends monthly notices to offenders who owe more than $100 to the court.
The system adds a $5 fee to process the billing, which is paid by the offender.
So far the system has increased revenue collections for the city and is also keeping some people out of jail.
Municipal Court administrator Claudia Bagley noted, "We've probably collected probably between $10,000 to $15,000 more than we normally would a month using auto pay."
Municipal Court judge Bob Wood explained, "It provides people an opportunity to pay, and they can do it on a monthly schedule that they can set up and make it part of their budget."
Judge Wood said they offer several options for people to pay their fines, including community service if they qualify.
The court processes about 1,000 citations a month, many of which involve fines.